Microsoft has filed a trademark for the ‘Windows 365’ branding with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (via Neowin).
The filing date is listed as January 29, 2015, and covers varying applications of the term, including computer software, telecommunications services, electronic storage, provision of education, and repair of software.
The fact that Microsoft is looking to cover all bases could signal that the firm isn’t sure how it wants to apply the term, but wants to ensure it can apply it somewhere down the road.
So what could Windows 365 actually be? Cast your minds back to the distant year that was 2014 and you’ll recall that the idea was floated as a way to pay for Windows 10.
Speculators thought that Windows 365 could offer an Office 365-esque way for consumers to pay for Windows 10.
That proposition has since been rubbished however, as Microsoft recently announced that Windows 10 would in fact be free.
It’s worth noting however, that Microsoft did say it would be free for those upgrading from Windows 7 or 8 for the first year.
This means that any acquisition of Windows 10 outside of these parameters could fall within the realms of a Windows 365 payment plan, should it even exist.
Related: Windows 10 Preview
There’s no telling what Microsoft has in store for Windows 365, but it could just be a way for the company to lock in the term before an enterprising patent hound bags it from underneath Redmond HQ.
Got a theory about why Microsoft has suddenly decided to file a trademark for Windows 365? Let us know in the comments section below.